Arlington, TX, United States (4E Sports) – In a deal involving players recently designated for assignment, the Pittsburgh Pirates have sent right-handed reliever Miles Mikolas to the Texas Rangers for first baseman Chris McGuiness.
The Rangers had designated McGuiness to make room on their 40-man roster for Shin-Soo Choo, whom they signed to a seven-year, $130 million contract to be their leadoff hitter and left fielder.
Mikolas had been designated on Dec. 20 by the San Diego Padres, who packaged him with outfielder Jaff Decker in a swap with Pittsburgh for first baseman Alex Dickerson. He ranked third in the Pacific Coast League with 26 saves for Tucson last season.
Mikolas was added to Texas’ 40-man roster and will compete with Joakim Soria and Neftali Feliz for the closer’s job left vacant with free agent Joe Nathan’s departure to Detroit.
Mikolas had brief stints with the Padres in both 2012 and 2013, working a total of 34 innings, yielding 13 earned runs.
The 25-year-old McGuiness is coming off his first Triple-A season, with Round Rock in the Pacific Coast League.
Although he hit only .246 for Round Rock, McGuiness’ plate discipline led to an on-base percentage of .369 and an OPS of .792. He also made his Major League debut last season, appearing in 10 mid-June games with the Rangers.
McGuiness was originally selected by Boston in the 13th round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft before being acquired by the Rangers on July 31, 2010.
He was then selected by Cleveland in the Rule 5 Draft on Dec. 6, 2012, before being returned to the Rangers’ organization on March 27.